Friday, January 31, 2014


I made a conscious decision to simply sit back and enjoy moments within my Daycare Day yesterday. When you surround yourself with children and pets, there are many moments to behold. Let me rephrase that: when you surround yourself with life and nature, there are more moments than one can ever imagine.

My new little one-year-olds are a delight. They arrive every morning and greet the day with a smile. These amazing little bundles of joy and innocence are my little Daycare Greeters. They make every person who enters our world smile out loud. If you are having a rough day, I highly recommend that you drop into our world. Not only would my Little People distract you from your adult thoughts, I would very much enjoy speaking to an adult in the midst of a child-oriented day.

My little two-and-a-half-year-old is missing her partner-in-play (who left our daycare last week). My heart is aching for her loss. But her gain is that she has a 'better' me. Tuesday, I was feeling a little under the weather and once we got our babies down for a nap (she takes care of a boy and girl doll, while I take care of my boy and girl one-year-olds), I asked if she would like to snuggle up on the couch and watch a little TV (she happily obliged). Yesterday, she was feeling under the weather and I repaid the favor for her. She is a very sensitive child and I shudder to think how I made her feel when our Daycare World was spinning out of control. I am grateful for all of the calmness that has opened the door to a better rapport between us.

My little four-year-old has Downs Syndrome and is (for the most part) non-verbal. We have a playlist of children's songs that take us through the last segment of our day. One day this week, when a child's sign language song came on, her hands started to dance. I couldn't wait to ask her dad if she is learning sign language at pre-school (she is) and now that I know this, we will happily reinforce what she is learning at daycare. I am a novice signer, but I have a book and perhaps a student who may teach me more than I teach her.

Mix these four personalities in a bowl and you have My Day. It's not a bad gig. Especially when I am not trying to prepare food or deal with the bathrooming issues involved in all-of-the-above.

Yesterday's moments:

Parents of my newest one-year-old were dropping her off and they asked the other one-year-old how old he is (he loves, loves, loves to show us his tricks). He immediately put up his finger in a #1 sign which is a little bit cute in and of itself. But the show stopper was, when their daughter immediately followed suit and displayed her best #1 imitation right along side her little partner-at-daycare.

My new little duo are a little bit adorable. My little guy is a cuddly, loving and openly affectionate little man. A few days ago, he was overcome with emotion and just reached over and gave his newest little friend a great big hug. As if that wasn't enough, he leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek afterwards. He's got the moves! Yesterday, I saw 'that look in his eye', as he was going to make a move. So I grabbed my camera to try and capture the moment for their parents. While I was grabbing the camera, he was going for the gold and gave her a hug. She wasn't braced for it, so she toppled over and he fell right on top of her. There were tears. My heart snapped a picture of 'the moment', I brushed off my little people and broken hearts were healed. If only life remained this easy ...

My little guy is into 'tricks' of all sorts. He 'roars like a lion' and 'squeaks like a mouse'. He knows how old he is. And he is big into pointing at body parts and identifying them these days. 'Noses' were the topic of the moment. My little two year old was busy teaching her dolly about noses and she was telling me how little her doll's nose was. And our one-year-old's tiny noses. Then she looked at me and said, "You have a big nose!" My ego was shattered but for a moment. I quickly picked up the ball and said that was okay - I would look pretty silly with a little nose like her.

Our Senior Cat grew up in my daycare. He wanders into our days and 'teaches' the kids how to treat an animal. He trusts me implicitly to keep him safe. Kids have tugged at his whiskers, ears, tail and hair. Yet he just sits there and knows I will protect him from harm. He doesn't stay too long, but he feels it is important to be a part of these children's lives. Nap time is his favorite. If he finds a warm, still, sleeping child-with-a-blanket on the couch he cannot resist. He accidentally slept through nap time yesterday and came up as everyone was waking. My little one-year-old was on my lap, enjoying his after-nap-bottle and he saw our cat and beckoned for him to come and sit beside us (he tapped the couch to encourage the cat to sit there, as I so often do). He was gulping down his milk and didn't have his voice, but this little guy was 'signing' in so very many ways. His little pointer finger was pointing to all areas of interest on our cat (ears, eyes, nose...) and our cat just lapped it up.

There were many more moments just-as-sweet sprinkled throughout the day. Yesterday was not a lot different than any other day. I just made myself stop and savor the flavor of the day as I lived it, instead of focusing on all that must be done to make things run smoothly.

Why is it that we get so wrapped up in all-that-must-be-done, that we let these little moments pass us by? We all have a litany of things-that-must-get-done running through our minds and if that is all we focus on, that is all that we see. Any time I look back on any job that I have ever done, I can find moments. The moments that turn the mundane into something special. Moments that alleviate the stress. Moments that are fleeting but make the day worthwhile.

Look for those moments within your day today. I bet you will be surprised at what you see.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sometimes ...

I had a nightmare this morning: 

I had made a promise to pick up a friend so that we could meet with a group of friends for coffee. I looked at the clock and I had an hour before I had to leave. The next time I looked at the clock, I was an hour late. Not only that, but I could not get my phone to work so that I could call my friend to explain that I was (finally) on my way. 

My sister and her friend were with me. And I didn't have a car. Nor did I have a plan. We were somehow transported (via dream-magic) to somewhere on "8th Street". And I didn't know which way to turn. We headed off to pick up one friend and it would have taken close to an hour to walk there. Then I remembered that the friend I had promised to pick up was much closer to where we were standing. So we turned around and headed towards her home. 

It was then, that I realized that I had (somehow) gotten my phone to work and she wasn't home (so she must have left without me). So we just had to head towards the place we were going to meet for coffee. For the life of me, I couldn't remember where we were meeting. I was late. I was standing in the middle of no-where-that-I-was-supposed-to-be and I had no idea where to go next...

Then I woke up.

The dream was so real, I almost emailed this particular group of friends to see if we had any upcoming plans that I had forgotten to write down. Gradually, the night-fog cleared and I realized that it was all just a dream. The reality is ... that I feel like I am standing still in the middle of the life that is going on all around me.

Life has been a little busier than I am comfortable with lately.

It has been a good busy. Lots of interaction with people. A little bit of 'Doing Hard Things' and dealing with the aftermath. A little gadding about and tending to friendships, work and life. Lots of coming and going within our home. It has simply been ... busy.

I am grateful. But I also been ... tired.

I am tired of thinking. I am tired of talking. I am tired of interacting. Last night, I was so tired that I went to bed before 7:00, but my body wasn't tired and my brain was filled up with all-that-I-have-not-been-doing. Needless to say, I woke up (and immediately fell back to sleep) about every hour or two all night.

Then I woke up this morning and reread an email that a friend sent to me yesterday:

... and I realized that this is the magic ingredient that is missing at the moment. 

When too much is going on in your life, book some time for yourself. I will be back with my own thoughts just as soon as I take a few of those moments for myself...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mountains and Sand

The more I talk with people, the more I feel we have in common. I think that is why I like to get past 'talking about the weather' and talk about real things. We are all struggling with something.

Even when life feels good, do we ever forget the feeling of climbing the mountain to get to the resting spot that we may be enjoying at the moment? Perhaps that is why that I believe that it is important to forgive, but not to forget the lessons that we have learned along the way.

Once upon a lifetime ago, I read the quote "Holding a grudge is allowing someone to live rent free in your head". I have never forgotten that particular group of words. One simple statement changed me.

I have felt the pain of heart ache and loss. I have felt anger and betrayal. Life has not always been fair and (sometimes) I have had to fight for what (I felt) I rightfully deserved.

I have grieved the loss of life-as-I-expected-it-to-be but I have moved onto the life-that-I-was-meant-to-live.

When I look back, it is not the easy and carefree times that define me or have made me into the person that I have become. It is the mountains, the moments of crisis, the betrayals, the losses and the pain. When life hits a crescendo, you must act.

I am grateful for the lessons that I have learned. I have forgiven the humans behind the pain. But I hope to always remember the lessons.

It is the lessons we learn along the way that help us hear what someone's eyes are telling us. Our imperfections help to open the doors of conversation where trust is born and friendship evolves. I would choose to be rich in friendship verses the riches money can buy any day of the week.

At times of great loss or crisis, people band together to help another walk through the moment. But it is in the months and years after that moment that a person may start to feel that pain more deeply. The world has moved on and often it is then, that a person who has suffered a life-altering-event needs support the most.

Why do people tend to feel the need to be strong when they are feeling a moment of weakness? I feel that we become stronger by leaning in together and forming a strong support group. Together...

"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe.
~ Robert W. Service

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Hierarchy of Cats

Once upon a time, our Senior Cat was in the Junior Cat rating in our home. He was the third of a cat-family-of-three to adopt us and call us 'family'. He knew his place within our cat population and was content to be Third in Line to the Throne (you can read about that here). Things have changed ...

Our Senior Cat evolved into being our Only Cat for many years. He fell into that role like he was bred for it. He was comfortable with his power, graced us with his feline presence and did his very best to share his love equally among his Humans.

Then along came Junior Cat. Senior enjoyed this novelty cat until he realized that he was here to stay! There was a definite change in his posture and attitude when this annoying guest decided to move in.

You know how little things become more, the longer they go on? Senior Cat must have been aghast at his new room-mate. 

Junior was a pig when it came to litter etiquette. He threw litter everywhere and seemed to dominate both litter boxes. Then there was the matter of the water dish. Junior didn't like the dish-placement, so he would scoot it to the middle of the kitchen floor. Then to top it all off, he would tip it over when he was done playing. 

Senior Cat knew all of the prime spots to nap and Junior was determined to nab each and everyone of them as soon as Senior vacated them:
Senior Cat: "These are MY pillows, on MY couch, in MY Chosen Human's Room!"
Junior Cat (thinks to himself): "Yes, Sire. But you can't sleep there forever! I will wait for my turn ..."
Then there are all of the best bird-watching, life-passing-you-by watching spots in the house. Though Junior thinks that we don't know how often he gazes into our neighbor's trees (via the kitchen window), his 'THUD' to the floor each time he hears us approaching is a dead give away. The living room window is the Human Approved spot to vie for. Just last week they finally agreed to share the space. Prior to this, it was a first come, first served deal (otherwise known as Senior Cat first; Junior Cat when it was available):
Our Black-Cat-Bookends (I wonder if they would let me stack a few books in between them some time??)
It has taken a while, but there seems to be a symbiotic relationship developing among our two Favorite Felines. Though Senior Cat likes to sit above the rest, he seems quite content to enjoy the companionship of his partner-in-cathood.
Senior looks upon the horizon and tells Junior of his impending power ...
Our two kitties remind me of the exchange between Mufasa and Simba in the Lion King:

Mufasa: Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom. 
Young Simba: Wow. 
Mufasa: A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king. 
Young Simba: And this'll all be mine? 
Mufasa: Everything. 
Young Simba: Everything the light touches... 

As Senior continues to wheeze and cough despite his steroid treatment and the gold-nugget-cat food which has his hair looking better than it ever has looked before ... I worry. Every living being is here only for a finite amount of time. I don't want Junior to have to 'take power' any time soon. In the mean time, it warms my heart to see the exchanges between our two favorite felines. Each of them knows their spot in our home and in our hearts. Knowing one makes us appreciate the other in their opposite manners. I hope our Senior Kitty is around long enough to teach Junior everything he has learned ...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The After-Taste of a Day

I didn't wake up to the after-taste of a bad day this morning. I didn't realize what was different until I sat down and wrote about it. Yesterday was calm.

Life is funny that way. Little things keep adding up and before you know it, you are dealing with big things. It is harder to recognize when 'action is required' when those little things start to pile up over a long period of time.

It is a very slow and gradual process. You don't see it coming. Because it has been there all along. Perhaps a little bit like filling up a sandbox a teaspoon at a time. What is insignificant at the beginning becomes overwhelming if you keep adding, without taking anything away.

A few days ago, I 'dumped my sandbox'.

At first, I didn't think that I could do it. In the end, I just had to close my eyes and forge through the moment. Once it was done, it couldn't be undone. There were others that would miss 'playing with that sand'. In the end, I simply had to do it for the better good.

I tentatively walked through my day yesterday. Guilt showed up to visit but was not allowed to stay. Perspective started peeking through the window and I sat in that ray of insight and breathed a long, steady sigh of relief.

The day was not perfect but it was ideal in every other way. I sat still and breathed in moments. Not in a hyperventilating sort of way ... but a long, deep inhalation of breath followed by a slow and deliberate exhale. I absorbed oxygen during the day. I was more of who-I-am. Verses the person I became while hanging on for dear life as our days spiralled out of control.

Sometimes we need to do a little housekeeping in our lives. Keep that which works and rid ourselves of that-which-drains-us. This is easier said than done.

Listen to yourself when you wake up in the morning. How are you breathing? What are you feeling? What residual thoughts from the previous day haunt you? Do you have too much pulling at you? Can you pinpoint one factor that continues to weigh you down? What choices do you have?

Even when we feel we are stuck, there is often something that can be done to shift the load. If you have been adding to your 'sandbox' without taking anything away, stand back and have a good hard look at it. Is there anything you can do to lighten your load?

Think of the after-taste of your day. Try to live a day that feels sweet on your tongue when it is over.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Quit

I don't 'quit' on kids. I don't.

In all of my (twelve and a half) years of daycare, I have given one family 'notice'. It was a situation that I had talked to the parent about. Other families were becoming uncomfortable bringing their children here. I monitored the situation closely. Something felt very, very off and it was out of my control. I couldn't fix or change it. I gave two weeks notice and I never looked back. It was the right thing to do.

I have had many, many challenging behaviours to contend with over the course of time. But I didn't quit. I once had a friend who had a child that had ADHD before it was a well known, well talked about catch phrase. She had daycare after daycare 'quit' on her. When I started babysitting I promised myself that I would not give up on a child. It is devastating to the parent and not good for the child.

But what is worse? Admitting defeat? Or subjecting that child to day after day, where it felt like they were constantly on the receiving end of time outs and relentless coaching to modify the offending behaviour? All to no avail.

I felt like I was talking to a stone wall, for the difference that I made. He could repeat the words that I said word for word. He copied my inflection, my tone of voice and my body language. But he did not understand me.

He copied every move that everyone around him made (including the cats and dogs). But he did not understand the concept of independent thinking.

Had he been in a situation where he was the youngest, in a group of children that were setting the bar for him, he could have thrived. Instead, he was the leader of the pack. He was mimicking behaviours of those who were much younger and developmentally challenged.

The younger our crowd got, the more he regressed. To the point where he went from being fully toilet trained to ... not.

I tried everything that has worked for me in the past. I tried every new tactic that I could think of. I talked with my son (who has seen the exact behaviours that I have seen) and he has verified the validity of this ongoing issue (I am  not imagining this or exaggerating). I have bounced my words off of the adults in my world. I was running out of options.

So yesterday ... I quit. It had to be done.

The self esteem of a child is at stake. I had to do it. He was taking the vast majority of my attention and energy. I had to do it. His behaviour was affecting the behaviour of everyone else in the house. I had to do it. I physically shuddered each and every morning when they drove up into our driveway. I had to do it.

It was the right thing to do. But I quit. I feel like I gave up on a child. And I do not feel good about it.

I will go through this day and know that every day from here on, will be without the energy-drain of the child that needed more than I could give. I will be more available for the rest of the children. I already feel a great relief knowing that I won't be fighting the same battle day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. It is for the greater good.

I tried everything that I could think of to fix or change the situation. Nothing worked. Not for me. Not for him.

I quit. It doesn't feel good. Not yet. Not today.

I would like to know the 'rest of his story'. I wish him only good things and I hope that this decision sends him onto a better path ...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Balancing Act

I believe in a good balance in life.

I like to work hard enough to appreciate my leisure time. I like (just) enough leisure activities to offset my work load. I need down-time where no one needs a piece of me to operate effectively. Too much of any-one-of-the-above and I feel like I have reached a tipping point where I am not effectively enjoying any one facet of my life.

I can feel when a 'correction' is needed within my own little balancing act. Presently I am in a bit of a shut-down-mode after a very full and interesting weekend.

I love, love, love to stay home and hibernate in the evenings. After spending ten hours in the company of one-to-four-year-olds every weekday, I very much enjoy not having to take care of anyone besides myself at night. Leaving the house takes a great deal of effort. Last night's obligations almost took me over the edge.

I need people just as much as I need solitude. I juggle that back and forth constantly. I crave adult intervention during my daycare days. I believe the reason that I rolled with the punches so effectively last week was because I had adult-diversions that carried me through my child-oriented days. It worked like a charm.

I don't mind sacrificing a little bit of my weekend to devote to my bookkeeping job. It has little to do with the pay cheque at the end of the month. It has everything to do with fulfilling a promise to someone who has entrusted me with the responsibility. I also appreciate the work experience that I am gaining. The biggest benefit is that of nurturing a friendship.

I have felt just a little bit overwhelmed as my weekend employment has encroached on living-my-life and has upset the delicate balance of work and play. So I have taken some pre-emptive measures and taken back my life. Just a little bit.

I have booked some 'adventures' with family and friends in the upcoming months. Little things. But oh-so-big, because I have neglected this aspect of living for so long. I can feel the equilibrium of work/play; family/friends; solitude/people returning to my life. And it feels good. So very, very good.

Perhaps this return of 'balance' has me overly sensitive. When I hear my Middle Son get up in the middle of the night to get ready to go to work and notice the lateness of the hour when he returns home at the end of that same day ... I am concerned. A person simply cannot be their best when their life consists of little more than working and sleeping.

I hope that he finds a balance that works best for him. A person can balance on the edge and teeter for only so long before you crash. Finding that balance within a new job takes perseverance. And patience. But once you find it ... you find a whole new level of enjoyment of life's little things.

It is a delicate balance and an ever-changing dynamic to keep things working at their best. You can't stand still on a high wire. Nor can you remain static in this thing-called-life. It is all a delicate balance of give and take, old and new, noise and quiet, work and play, yin and yang ...

It is a delicate, ever-changing balancing act - this thing called life. If you are feeling out of sorts, something must give. Listen to your heart. It knows which way to go.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Skin Care 101

Please consider this post a 'public service announcement'. I am simply sharing a neat little trick that worked for me. Some gifts are best shared (you may wish to stop reading now, if you really don't care about silky soft skin).

I have stumbled across (what I believe to be) the world's best skin care secret - simply by changing a diaper.

My new one-year-old daycare child has the softest skin of any baby that I have ever changed. Last week, I finally remembered to ask what kind of lotion they used. They told me their secret:

Aveeno Baby Lotion (Lavender and Vanilla) is what they use for an over-all body lotion. If she has a dry patch of skin they use Penaten diaper cream. They have found the combination has resulted in a silky soft baby.

I ran out that very night and picked up some of the lotion (I already had the diaper cream on hand). I started using this combo on my feet the very next morning and I applied the lotion to my hands and body and revelled in the very light fragrance and instant benefits of this non-oily product.

I noticed an immediate difference on my feet but I wanted to see what happened with continued use.

Each and every morning (after my bath), I applied the diaper cream to the callouses on my feet and then applied lotion to my feet/legs. 

There was a noticeable difference the very first day. My feet were soft and my calloused areas were softer. I did absolutely nothing else but apply this cream/lotion for the days that followed and the heels of my feet and bunion areas (which were as hard as shoe leather) are starting to heal. If things keep going at this rate, I will have baby-soft feet in no time flat!

I am the world's laziest person when it comes to foot care. I have callouses upon callouses and the summer wreaks havoc on my (already) neglected feet. The only thing that I do, is apply lotion each and every morning throughout the winter (when I am wearing socks to alleviate walking around the house on 'lotioned' feet). 

The unexpected side benefit that I have found is that my hands are also silky smooth. The layer of Penaten (left over, from applying it to my feet) has helped with my chronically dry hands. I wash my hands about a bazillion times a day (diaper changes, runny noses, preparing food, bathroom-assistance, etc, etc, etc). My hands were like sand paper just before the Christmas break. I am beyond thrilled to have found something so simple that works so well.
My new beauty regimen
It isn't rocket science, but I find that it is the little things in life that make the biggest difference. This is just a little tip that worked for me. 

I will resume with my regularly scheduled blogging next time.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Facing Fears - A Cat Story

I am not the only one in our family who is working on Facing Fears. Junior Cat has joined me on this brave new journey and I can empathize with the struggle that I see within him as he dares to go where he has never gone before.

I have affectionately nicknamed our Senior Cat "Daycare Kitty". He joined our family when my daycare was in its infancy.

My little Daycare Kitty loves to interact with the kids and enjoys 'teaching' them how to treat an animal. If he knows that I am at his side, he will let the kids do pretty much anything. He has endured hair and whisker pulling, ear tugging and gentle tail grabbing. He trusts that I will always take care of him. He looks up at me with his big, grateful eyes and I can hear him thanking me for teaching the kids to be gentle.

Left to his own devices, he also 'teaches'. His method involves placing his teeth on the offending hand that is hurting him. He doesn't bite. He simply makes the motion so that the kids stop what they are doing. If he doesn't do that, he makes a run for it and finds a safe-kid-free-zone.

He also enjoys the selection of toys - in this picture, I believe that he is wishing that white box was empty because he simply loves jumping into empty boxes or containers:
Junior Cat is trying very hard not to be afraid of the kids. But when a cat is scared of sudden movement, unexpected noise and has trust issues with those he knows well ... attempting to love children is a very brave deed.

He wanders into the living room when the kid's backs are turned. His eyes look a small bit terrified as he makes his way deeper into the trenches. If no one notices him, he makes it all the way to the bookcase and can do a little bit of serious bird-watching while the kids play at his side.

But he is ever-on-the-alert and his ears give him away. No one is going to surprise this totally alert kitty!

Senior Cat was a masterful cuddler in his day. His illness has changed all of that. His preference is to snuggle up on his favorite cushions in my Youngest Son's room. It is a rare and special occasion when he nestles up on us and gifts us with his famous Lion Purr.

Thankfully, I have a tendency to keep the camera at arm's length, so I can capture the moments when he finds me and nestles up on my chest. He does love to know that we have the ability to scratch his cheeks and ears... 

Junior Cat however, is not a snuggler. He likes a physical distance between those he loves and his sleeping body.

He does grace me with his presence almost every morning. One morning, this is where I found him - in between the headboard of my bed and my pillow (check out the ears - still not in a state of restful bliss):

On another braver day, he actually lept up onto my reclined body like Senior Cat had just done. And he accidentally stayed!

One unexpected noise is all that it took before he was off like a shot. Little did he know that I took full advantage of the moment to snap a few 'selfies' to add to his Kitty Album.

The other night, he jumped up on my chest while I was nestled into my favorite quiet spot in the house, watching "The Gilmore Girls". He feverishly did the 'cat thing' where they knead their sleeping spot before they settle in.

Senior Cat has this kneading process down to a fine art. He takes his time and lavishes in the moment as he breathes in and breathes out (and may or may not drool in the process). It brings him such great comfort and joy that sometimes he forgets to quit kneading.

Junior Cat, on the other hand, acts like he has read this in a Cat Manual under the title: "Things Cats Do". He kneads like he just wants to get it done and over with. Fast, furious, no enjoyment factor and I can almost feel him thinking "Okay. I'm doing this. I am having fun. Right? Wrong! How long do I have to do this? If I do it really fast, can I be done quicker??"

The moment he started kneading my chest, I knew that he had the intention of settling in and staying for a while. And he did. Once he got the nasty Cat Job of nestling in done and over with, he rigidly laid down on my chest and breathed quickly. His heart beat fast. I could tell he was out of his comfort zone. But he stayed ... until he felt the presence of Senior Cat enter the building. I don't know how he did it. His back was to the door. Senior Cat walked into the room without making a sound. But his presence changed the air and Junior picked right up on it. And he was off!!

But in the minutes that preceded that ... he Did Hard Things. And I was proud of him.

I woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover from Doing Hard Things in the days that preceded this one. I thought to myself, "Oh no! What have I done? What am I doing? Who do I think I am??" Then I remembered successes-of-the-past. It started out scary and ended up brave. If Junior Cat can Do Hard Things ... so can I!

Face your day with the attitude that doing One Brave Thing will make you stronger. No one is fearless. Some are simply better at masking it than others.

Take a cue from our fearful kitty. You can always try 'bravery' on for size before you decide whether or not to make it a habit. He is getting braver by the day. I just don't think he has realized that yet.
"If I can balance on the back of a movable, swivel chair ... I can do anything!!" he thinks, with the Courage of a Lion.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Year of Weaving Back the Tapestry of My Life

Something deep inside of me sparked when I made one brave decision. That decision was to make a plan and then invite people along for the ride.

It all started as easily as that.

I decided to go and visit my mom one weekend. My car was headed in that direction. I extended a few invitations and it felt wonderful to say "No pressure. The choice is yours. I am headed that way anyway and all you have to do is hop in and enjoy the ride!"

I think that is basically what a lot of us want to hear. We just want the option to join. Not out of obligation or a sense of doing the right thing. We want to follow our own whims. And sometimes, just sometimes, we need that choice to be easy.

The years 2009 to 2011 were years of living my life to the fullest. They were filled with making plans and asking people to come along for the ride. Sometimes they did. Sometimes they didn't. In the end, I was the winner. I was an active participant in my own life and they were wonderful years.

They were years when I believed anything was possible. I pursued dreams and caught a few. I felt younger than I had felt the entirety of my life. I started to believe in me.

It all started with a decision to return to school. That choice opened up so many doors that had absolutely nothing to do with education but everything to do with freeing up my schedule so I could live a life beyond work and being a mom. 

I spread my wings and flew. I soared like an eagle. I found so much within myself that I honestly believed that I was capable of much more than I ever dreamed possible.

Thankfully I didn't take a nose dive in mid flight. My descent down to earth came in the form of employment that didn't fit me. I started investigating other options and thought that I found a winner. In two words? I didn't.

In a paragraph (which is worthy of a chapter), a bullying situation in a work place took me down farther than I had ever been before. I was 51 years old and I was a victim. I walked through an abusive marriage from the ages of 17 to 27 and it didn't take me to the depths that two months in a toxic workplace situation did. The fall of 2011 will forever go down in history as the season that unravelled me.

It has been a slow process of rebuilding since that point in time. I don't question the fact that I learned lessons that were very good ones to learn. I walked a path many have walked before me. I had such a rosy attitude before I learned a very important lesson. No one is immune to the effects of a bully.

I had one negative experience. There were a few co-conspirators that aided and abetted the situation. Other than that, I was surrounded by positive people, encouragement, appreciation and everything one would think they would need to negate two months of a bad situation. Yet I could not find the person I was before this all began.

It has been a long, arduous process. I have had friends, family, support and encouragement that far exceed that which I ever expected. I have a wonderful support system all around me. But no one else could build me up. It had to come from within.

The next few years were spent repairing the foundation on which I was built. It was on shaky ground and I needed to start from the bottom up. Reopening my daycare was the first best decision that I made that put me back in the driver's seat of my life. 

It takes time for relationships to grow within those we meet in our lives. So why would I expect anything different when it came to rebuilding my relationship within myself?

Baby steps. Steps in a forward direction. Rebuilding. More solid than it was to begin with. I finally, finally started filling myself up once again. But I was still ruled by fear. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of making decisions. Fear of acceptance. Though those years were very critical to the process, they were the years when fear overruled rational thought.

It was frustrating to remember the person I used to be and see the person I had become were not in sync with each other. Why couldn't I find the "me" I was during the years of living life to the fullest? Where did she go?

She is gone. She had to learn a few lessons and come back with a little more perspective. She had to find the new "her" within the lessons learned before she was ready to hop back into the place which brought her the greatest happiness. 

The year of 2014 will go down in my personal history as the year that I took those loose threads and started weaving them back into the tapestry that is my life.

I have made a few moves in a familiar direction. It rekindled the spark that led me down the path I travelled during those years where I felt fearless and was fuelled by following through on small ideas.

Baby steps. Steps in a forward direction will eventually take you to where you are meant to be. Even when you felt like you are back tracking, you are taking necessary steps. If we want to evolve and grow, we must follow the path that we are on and simply trust that the journey is a part of the plan.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Courageous Heart

** An add-on to this morning's post**

I am upset with myself. No one else. I went through a brave stage in my life where I didn't toss out ideas and ask anyone what they thought. I simply announced my intentions and ran with them.

During that phase, I wrote a book, I danced in a dance competition, I went on an Alaskan Cruise vacation, I instigated a few family and friend gatherings, I joined Zumba, Belly Fit, I took classes and set goals. It was the most wonderful phase of my life-so-far. I made wonderful memories and have no regrets.

Since that point in time, I became fearful. I have started asking "What do you think of this idea?" before I jump into anything. I have not only been looking before I leap, I have been shoulder checking and looking in the rear view mirror until I am unable to move ahead with anything for fear of failing. I have stopped looking ahead and have felt immobilized by the paralysis of fear.

Not today! Today ... I picked up the phone and dialed it. And I am simply following where my heart is telling me to go. I may have found myself a wayward 'musician' to come and join me on a quick weekend adventure. Maybe not. But I feel braver for having taken a step in a forward direction and extended the invitation for others to join me.

I picked up the phone a few more times than I had originally intended today. Each conversation brought a gift along with it. I have gained more than the possibility of a wayward musician joining me on my journey. I have found a small piece of myself that I lost a few years ago.

I feel braver than I have felt in a very, very long time.

You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” ~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

An Anxious Heart

I woke up with an anxious heart this morning. I am going to follow wherever that ache takes me ...

I don't know what it is. If it is simply the need to plan and follow through on something? January (need I say more)? Or if it is something Bigger Than Me telling me to go where my heart takes me?

I have been tossing 'feelers' out into the world, asking The World "What do you think about (fill in the blank)?" And I have been getting rather lack lustre replies. Nothing to jump on and run with.

So I have decided I am going to 'jump' no matter who may or may not join me. I am simply going to do it. Do something. I am going to act instead of simply react.

As far as I know, I do not have to work this upcoming weekend. I am not going to stay home and fritter away another weekend. I am going to hop in the car and drive.

I feel like the lead in the fairy tale "The Travelling Musicians". I am going to head off towards the Great City, "For there ... I may turn musician!"

I am headed off on my own. Will anyone join me along the way? I guess I will find out as I go along ...

Monday, January 13, 2014


Sleep is my friend. It comes to me easily and without fail. The moment I am still within my world, sleep comes to find me and takes me away.

Sleep and I became out of sync at one transitional point in my life. I could fall asleep easily but I couldn't stay asleep. I became addicted to turning on the TV to turn off my thoughts during that phase. A habit that I have yet to break.

Years later, I went through a particularly stressful time when I tried transitioning to work-outside-of-my-home. I faced a situation within the workplace that took me down and the residual effect still lies within me. I felt powerless in that world and I believe that I slipped into a depressed state. It hurt to be awake during that time. Sleep was my narcotic, aided and abetted by the television which lulled me into a semi-comatose state that got me through the worst of times. Sleep saved me from myself.

Unfortunately (perhaps it is fortunate?) it means that the television has become like a sleeping pill to me. The moment I turn it on, sit still and focus my attention on it I am asleep.

This skill has been honed to a degree where I fall asleep whenever I stop moving, eating &/or talking. I have been checked out and told that my sleep habits are "unremarkable" so this mild dose of narcolepsy does not concern me. I know far too many people who suffer with sleep deprivation to be anything but grateful that sleep and I are such constant companions.

This affection for sleep really cuts into my productivity though. If I make the mistake of sitting down after supper, it is 'lights off' for me. The later I eat, the longer I can stay awake. The less satisfying my supper is, the more inclined I am to snack (thereby delaying my automatic sleep cycle).

Long story short, it is very hard to stay awake past 8:00 if I am not moving, eating or talking. There is a benefit and a pitfall to falling asleep so early. I wake up often during those long nights.

My ability to fall back to sleep the moment I become interested in a television program makes these wakeful nights very easy on me. In fact, I often turn on the TV and become excited at the fact that I may finally be able to watch a program that I have slept through on other occasions. I have turned on a program with only fifteen minutes left and it is a rare occasion when I make it through to the end. One night I even brought some ju-jubes into bed with me in the hope of watching the end of some program (it didn't work).

Our house is a busy one. We could install revolving front and back doors. The kitchen and living room are the core of the activity around here so I have retreated to a quiet zone in the corner of the house that is furthest from the activity. I love my little oasis. But I am still very much aware of the comings and goings of our household. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I am surrounded in a house full of sleeping beings. It is the most peaceful, serene place in my world.

Last night was 'one of those nights'...

I had fallen asleep on the couch by 8:00 and made my way to bed by 8:30 (after saying good-night to my Youngest Son and our cats). I woke up somewhere in and around 1:30 a.m. and I felt wide awake. I checked my email and found a few personal messages. I sent off a reply in the middle of the night. I was energized by the social contact within my quiet space and quickly turned on the DVD that I had been trying to watch before I fell asleep. And poof! Lights out. Again.

I woke up this morning energized by my window of solitude in the middle of the night. The house will be a flurry of activity within the half hour and I am so grateful for that time that I found in the middle of the night.

Sleep is good for your health. It gives your body a chance to recharge. It gives your immune system a chance to fight all that ails you. Resting your body, mind and soul is the best medicine for all that ails you. Add a good friend to the mix and you are pretty much invincible.

That ... is precisely how I feel this early Monday morning. I am rested, nourished and nestled up all safely within a most wonderful life. I may not be entirely invincible but I am most definitely the best-I-can-be. I couldn't ask for a better way to start a new week.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Push Into Action

I faced my fears yesterday. I ventured out of the house, drove through the city, down the highway and walked through the doors of my weekend employment ready to confront the day ahead of me. It had been four weeks since I last worked.

The wheels in my head were rusted and corroded. I had a very hard time jumping back in. My employer's wheels had not stopped turning since I last been there. She has been forging ahead with year-end work and she was already in with both feet. My toes were barely wet.

It was stressful. I nudged, pulled and prodded and faint memories of how-to-do-things came back to me. Slowly.

Meanwhile, I could sense the pace that her mind was working at. Anxiety levels were rising. I was battling self doubt at every turn. I felt like I was in over my head.

Finally, I simply told her what I was feeling. I acknowledged that she was running on full tilt and I was still warming up. She recognized that I had not been at work for a month and immediately correlated my sluggishness to how she feels when she jumps into someone else's role.

The change in our mutual expectations was immediate. We both felt validated and each of us understood the other. The day was easy from that point onward.

Our progress was halted because the Internet was down. I went home after a full day's work and was told that I may or may not have to work this morning (dependent on the Internet connection). I was to call her at 9:00 to find out the fate of my day.

It is amazing what a tentative deadline can do for a person. I had until 9:00 to do-what-most-needed-to-be-done in my world. And I did it!

I have not had the strength or confidence to submit articles for the publications that I write for. I read, reread, edited, deleted and vetoed article after article. Too personal. Not coherent enough. Too many scattered thoughts. Good start, bad ending. Simply, not good enough!

Why have I done this? Who do I think I am? There are so many writers who are so much better than I! I can't do this. I can't!!

One sentence pushed me through a moment. A comment from an editor that I write for: "I did hire a fantastic new blogger!" Now, she didn't specify who the blogger was, but she was writing an email addressed to me so I took a grand leap and guessed that maybe I was the one she was referring to.

One comment did not erase all of my self-doubt. It helped, but a tough-first-week-back-at-work drained me. My confidence levels were waning on so many levels. It is hard to push through and change that path once you are on it. But leaving my house and facing a tough-day-at-the-office yesterday made the difference.

Admitting my feelings to my boss (can I tell you just how much I love working for this lady???) and having the conversation that followed strengthened me in so many more ways than she will ever realize.

I woke up this morning and was ready to face the day!

I have submitted a month's supply of articles to each of the publications that I write for. My work there is done (for a month). I now have the strength to move on. Finally.

Doing hard things always energizes me. Always. I become paralyzed in fear with each hard thing that I don't do. Fear has been ruling me and it is not a good motivator.

It is now 9:00 and I have been told not to come into work today. Because I had that 9:00 deadline, I accomplished 'hard things' before my day has even begun.

I need to push myself into the habit of doing 'Six Impossible Things Before Lunch'. Once you do 'the impossible' you feel ready to take on the world (and even if you don't, you have accomplished great things and you still have the rest of the day at your disposal).

Now that I have been pushed into action, it is time to make the most of the remainder of this bonus-day-at-home!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy January 11

I started my Friday morning with (what I thought) was a good plan. I was armed with positive thoughts, self-talk and inspiration. Then the Real World walked in the door and all of my best laid plans walked off the job.

I fell back into my moment-by-moment approach (is there really any other way you can deal with a house full of preschoolers?) and another week was spent.

It was not a fantastic first-week-back-after-holidays. I am disappointed in myself. I didn't come back refreshed and revived. I arrived back on the job on empty and I've been running on fumes all week.

I believe that this is a result of knowing that I have a working weekend ahead of me. I always, always enjoy the challenge of my days-with-numbers. I simply do not like tacking them onto the end of a work-week. But for the moment, that is my lot in life. I must simply accept it and trust that it will all work out for the best. It always does. Always.

I suppose some of my lack of enthusiasm for life has to do with the fact that I am not effectively dealing with that which I have some control. I feel stuck in a state of limbo as I hope some things work themselves out. It is quite likely that it is that very thing that is taxing my resources. I am spending my energy coping instead of working on solutions.

I know that part of this is simply 'winter'. My daycare challenges are larger than life because we are spending our days indoors. Four walls and a roof shelters us from the elements ... but those same four walls start closing in on you when you stay within the safety and comfort of home.

I feel it everywhere.

I don't want to leave my home. Not with my daycare charges in tow, not to work on the weekends, not to run errands nor even to go out and spend time enjoying the world.

I don't enjoy January. There is nothing that I can do about winter. But there is something that I can do about my self-imposed limitations. And that is where I must start. I need to start with a plan.

But for now? I simply must go to work. And face another day.

Happy January 11th! The days are getting longer. It was still light outside when my last Daycare Family left yesterday. Now there is something to celebrate.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Inspiration from the Status Updates Within Facebook

Did you ever have a day where suddenly little things came into sharp focus? A day when ah-ha moments were found here, there and everywhere? A day when suddenly you can see a path that may lead to better results?

The first thing I found was this message on Facebook:

Such a simple concept, yet when I applied this idea to a challenge within my little daycare family a light bulb went on. I need to be a better me in order to bring out the best in my little people. As I have been revelling in my two new little one-year-olds that have recently joined our family, I have caught myself thinking "I just want to take care of one-year-olds! They are so fresh, new and innocent ..."

It is a much bigger challenge to learn to understand and deal with older ages and stages that have been influenced by the world around them. I have not been doing well in that department. Not at all. I am really struggling with one behaviour which so disruptive and it is getting worse instead of better. What if that child was replaced with someone who was even a bigger challenge? A better me will attract better behaviour. That is a much better place to start.

Then I read the words "I am hard core struggling in the parenting department right now. Particularly with one child..." within a blog post that I had found via Facebook (of course). More words to ponder and a new perspective verses my banging-my-head-against-the-wall approach.

I have been aching to return to the 'me' that I was when I was chasing dreams, running out to Zumba and Bellyfit classes and fearless in that-which-I-wanted-to-try. I found the thought "I just want to be like I was four years ago ..." chiming through my mind. Then I read this "You are changing, day by day. You will not go back to being your 'old self.' Instead, you are growing into a new self. Perhaps you aren't even sure who you are becoming..." (another Facebook message from "Transcending Loss - Understanding the lifelong impact of grief).

Then this morning, I found a post from a blog writer who has often inspired me. "Making Room for Happy", by Erica Orloff. She asks the question "Tell me what makes YOU happy". And those are the words that are setting the stage for me this morning.

Little bits and bytes from around the Internet are finding their way into my consciousness. Something is finally getting through. I read words of inspiration every single day but sometimes it is too much. Or too soon. Or just too hard to think. Yesterday something opened up within me so that I could soak up the goodness of the day.

Oh, and I discovered a secret to do with Penaten diaper cream and Aveeno Vanilla & Lavendar baby lotion but that is for another day. I must now open my blinds and welcome whatever my Daycare Day has to bring.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

To Dance or Not to Dance

I was out and about running errands last night and I found my way over to a friend's house to drop off a book.

It was a completely out-of-the-ordinary task that put me in a place that I have been only twice before. And while I was there, she received a phone call from someone who had just called my home and left a message for me. He then proceeded to call my friend and found both of us at the same place, at the same time when he wanted to speak with each of us. 

To offer full disclosure on the above mentioned coincidence, all three of us are connected by the dance studio. So it is not a completely random set of events. But still. One person calls two others offering a random act of kindness and finds both parties at the other end of the phone line. Pretty serendipitous, would you not say?

The offer is one of 'Technique Dance Classes'. Ten lessons in ten weeks (I missed the first one last night because I was running out and about). What to do? What to do?

The fact that this gift has been bestowed upon me should have me kissing the ground and praising the Gods and being ever-so-grateful.

The reality is that I am not too hung up on the intricacies of of dancing. I simply want to dance. Dance like no one is watching. Moving to the music and swaying to the beat and just following my own heartbeat. I don't really care about the technique aspect.

The other fact is that my feet ache when I think of one solid hour of technique class in my dance shoes. Granted, I have some jazz dance shoes that I could wear for the occasion but my feet still hurt when I think of dancing and learning. Dancing and having fun is a whole different matter. It is pain with a purpose. 

The saddest part of all is the fact that I do not want to pry myself out of the house once a week. I love my quiet after-daycare-hours at home. I live for them. I sleep through them.

And this last fact is the one that makes me think that I really need to do this. I need to pry myself away from solitude, sleep and 'easy'. I need to start to surround myself with people, activity and challenge. I may prefer to be in a Zumba class but maybe this is a good place to start. Within an environment that brings out my inner happy and around people that I enjoy doing something that I do love to do. 

To dance or not to dance? That is the question. The answer would be so easy if it was 'just' dancing. I am still pondering that question as my daycare day must begin ...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sometimes ... I Just Like to Sit Back and Enjoy the Stars

It is hard to jump back into life after a holiday, a change from the norm or a great life transition. Yesterday was a day (a little bit) like that as I opened my door and my world walked right back in, without missing a beat.

I could not help but think of those who have gone through a season of change and how rudely 'life' expects them to keep on going on. No matter what.

It seems hard and unjust at first ... until you think about it.

Thankfully the world does keep revolving and once a person takes that first step from that state of paralysis, I believe we welcome the fact that we do have a world that is waiting for us.

Hard things must be faced, dealt with and put behind us. Little things continue to add up in our absence. When we are ready, life is sitting at our feet waiting for us to take that first step.

The first step may be hard. But it is necessary. We may need to sit back and wait before we are ready, but once we start moving in a forward direction the momentum helps to carry us to the next hard thing.

We are stronger than we think. More resilient than we want to believe. And we must believe in silver linings and have the ability to find a spark of light within a dark tunnel.

... “Without the dark, we'd never see the stars.” ~ Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Bonus Day!

There is something to be said for living in the frigid zone and enduring a Saskatchewan winter. Every once in a while, something good comes of a -50 degree day ...

My very kind boss called me this morning (as soon as she heard how cold it was outside) and insisted that I NOT come into work today.

My insides were partying when she broke the news to me. "I get to spend my last day of holidays ... at home!! YEE HAW!!!" All I could manage to say without giving away my inner-party-state was, "Are you sure??"

The best part of this equation is that I did all-that-I-had-to-do yesterday. The house is de-Christmased, de-cluttered, re-daycared and raring to go for the onset of the return of my Daycare Dayz tomorrow. I am ready. All I have to do is show up (aka: stay home!) and my holiday will be over. Tomorrow!

I ran the errands that needed to be run. Yesterday. Groceries are bought and I have supplies to get us through the week.

I finished making one last Christmas gift last night. I know. It is January 5th and I am still not quite ready for Christmas. This gift was for one of my Daycare Family and her last day before Christmas was unexpectedly one day earlier than originally anticipated. So her gift was not ready. Now it is.

Tax preparations are under way. I have written up receipts for my daycare income for the 2013 taxation year.

Late last night, I sat down with my 'year end' numbers and I have taken a preliminary run through for my 2013 income tax (I may be late on Christmas but I'm early for the tax season). Spoiler alert: according to my numbers, it is no wonder that I dug myself into debt last year. All things considered (and there is a lot to consider) we came out of 2013 rather (financially) unscathed.

Apparently, the very first thing that I did was waste the first hour that was at my disposal. I have been playing around with income tax, budget and financial planning in between the paragraphs of this blog post.

The very next thing that I am going to do is to cook a bacon & egg breakfast. I cannot remember the last time that I cooked breakfast. It has been years.

I should get at my writing assignments and get that task tended to. Submitting articles for the publications that I write for is one of my most daunting tasks. What am I brave enough to submit for the 'real world' to read? I need to be in a 'high confidence' mood when I make those submissions. Today could be the day ...

I have a friend (that lives two time zones away) that has been trying to call me for a while. Originally, she had planned to call me this afternoon but I told her that I was working. She may or may not be able to call me now that my afternoon has been cleared. That would be a fun way to spend an hour or so ...

I should write a letter to my mom. We have went a record amount of time without talking (since her visit here last week) so I may have enough stories to fill a letter. Or not. I have really not done much to write about (but that has never stopped me before).

My head is running in about thirty different directions. What to do? Where do I begin?? Then what???

This is a bonus day in every way. The best way to spend it is to wrap up this post about nothing and make us some breakfast.

May you find a little unexpected 'bonus' within the day that you were anticipating today.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Returning to Life as I Knew It

I cleaned up Christmas today.

I had no desire to lose the decorations of the season. The lights make me happy. The angels that I have collected over the years make me feel safe and protected. The decorations remind me of the many gifts that I have received from all walks of my life throughout the years. The cards and letters that I received make me feel like a vital part of my world.

There have been years when I have wanted to erase Christmas with a grand flourish and I have cleared the clutter as early as Boxing Day. Perhaps those were the years that were wrapped in disappointment.

This Christmas season was sprinkled with memorable moments. The flurry of mail made my day. Day after day after day.

I really have no burning desire to return to reality. But I must.

The halls have been un-decked. The daycare paraphernalia has been brought out and is back in place for the onset of my Daycare Days on Monday. I must return to my bookkeeping job tomorrow. I have writing deadlines looming.

I am so grateful for my holidays this year. Eleven days. The days had purpose and meaning. I had time to catch my breath and simply 'inhale'.

What I would give for just one more day but I know that I will be glad to get back in the swing of things once I start. It  is always nice for life to return back to 'normal'.

I am very fortunate to be returning to life as I knew it before this season started. There are many who are not so lucky.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Most Meaningful Year of All

A fresh, new calendar has replaced a full and messy one on our kitchen wall. Down with the old. Up with the new. As I unceremoniously replaced the calendar, my shoulders felt heavy with the weight of the year we just put behind us.

Why did 2013 feel so heavy?

I scanned through the old calendar this morning. I perused the titles within my blog. There was nothing that stood out in a big and shiny way that summed up the year. In fact, the year was a bit of a blur.

It was a year of great loss. It was a year that cancer invaded the lives of too many people that I know. It was a year of feeling human.

It was a busy work-year. After a few lean years of attempting to work outside of my home I found gainful employment from within that has kept me busy. Very busy. It has all worked out in the end. After three years of instability I ended the year 2013 finally saying, "I now earn enough to pay my bills!" And this is good.

It was an expensive year. I must have forecast something great in my future because I spent and overspent. Between a new fence, a second car, vet bills and investing in my daycare I have dug myself into a nice, neat little hole. The year 2014 is the year that I will start to build a staircase out of that basement.

It was a year that was all-about-family. Our family's losses brought us together time and time again. Nodding acquaintances with cousins, aunts and uncles have become bonds. Tenuous, fragile and strong all at the same time. Circumstances have brought family together in times of sorrow but I see and hear all of us wanting to strengthen that connection by repeat occurrences in  happier times.

Old friendships have become nearer and dearer. Trust grows slowly and ever so carefully. I am feeling a deepening strength within friendships that were strong to start with. To feel such an intense level of trust-between-friends is a gift. A gift that may or may not have happened, had they not had to walk such a troubled path.

2013 was a year that fortified so many connections that I already had. Times of trouble, sadness and sorrow brought friends and family into a new light and with each encounter, life became more meaningful.

Upon reflecting on the year that has past, I do believe that the year 2013 will go down in history as The Most Meaningful Year of All.

It may not be a year that is marked by great celebrations, lavish holidays or the accumulation of material possessions. Instead, it was a year of nurturing that which I already had and cherishing the value of that which I was still holding onto at the end of a long and heavy year.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Out of Words

It has been a very 'wordy' holiday. I believe that I am spent.

I just went and scribbled down the comings and goings around here over the course of the past few weeks ... and it is a blur. I scrolled down the names on the phone's call display and that doesn't even begin to count the outgoing calls that I made.

I have been out and about. I have been talking and listening. I have been hosting and have been hosted. My mind has not been quiet for quite some time.

I came home and closed the door last night and I felt very anxious inside. I couldn't put a finger on why I felt so 'off'.

I woke up this morning and had no desire to crawl out of bed. I just want to hibernate for a little while.

I have three more holidays left. My back-to-work life begins on Sunday. At this very moment in time I do not feel ready to face reality.

I may crawl up on a couch and lose myself in a whole lot of nothing today. I think that a few quiet days will cure what ails me.

My words have all been spent. I am going to sit still today and be quiet with my thoughts. I'll be back when the words start spilling over again.